Besides having technical knowledge of their subject, an excellent private tutor has many other qualities, including soft and hard skills. Tutoring is not just about being good at your subject; it's much more than that.

It goes without saying that a math tutor must be well versed on the basics of arithmetic, or a Spanish tutor must have Spanish proficiency.

However, that is not all you require to become a tutor, regardless of how good your knowledge is on the intended subject.

If you are wondering how to become a tutor, this article will help shed some light on that. It's not as simple as just knowing your skill well.

Our motto at Superprof is that tutoring is an experience, both for students and teachers alike. Research proves that you need a range of soft and hard skills to excel as a tutor. This is making a big difference in how teachers approach their tutoring jobs.

3 Must-Have Skills To Become A Tutor

  • Ensuring a comfortable working environment
  • Having know-how and using it well
  • Analyzing and fitting tutorials to your students' needs.

Among many qualities a tutor should have, some essential qualities a tutor needs to have are pedagogy, methodology, and comprehension. Of course, this list is not exhaustive.

Pedagogy is, in a nutshell, the way you approach teaching. Methodology, as the name suggests, has to do with your pattern of teaching. Comprehension has to do with the subject matter at hand and your understanding of it. These all affect how you look at and approach your tutoring jobs as a whole process.

There are a few more qualities every good tutor has. Even if you embody them, you should work to develop them further.

How do I get my student ready for tutorials?
Good organisation is one of the first steps towards giving high-quality tutorials.

How You Should Organize Your Private Lessons

After the preliminary steps, your goal is to think about how you want to go about executing your teaching plans. For that, a well-organized plan is always a good idea before execution.

A well thought out methodology is needed, to begin with, as long as you allow a little flexibility to adjust for the student's needs- according to their needs, expectations, and objectives.

A sound methodology can profoundly impact your student's progress, as well as your success in your online teaching jobs. The method should more or less be the same, regardless of the subject you're planning to teach.

Whether you teach math, geography, or biology, you should first focus on how to get your message across to your learners. A tutor's ability to impart meaningful knowledge to their students is incumbent on the time they invest and their commitment to preparing their tutorials.

Working on an improvisational basis will do much harm to your teaching process. You must plan out everything beforehand.

Lastly, there is much difference between online teaching jobs and at home teaching jobs. You must keep in the differing nature of these jobs and mold your approach accordingly. Do not become too complacent and adopt a one model fits all approach.

Make sure to be organized if you plan on giving online tutorials or any other tutoring venue where you plan to teach in that case.

A Psychological Approach To Working Through Difficulties With Tutoring

Understanding your student well means you've already achieved a good part of your tutoring job.

We at Superprof would recommend you meet your student beforehand for an initial meeting to determine their needs and determine their learning style.

This step would go a long way in helping you align your psychological approach with your student.

In fact, for starters, we would recommend you even meet the student's parents to establish if they have any expectations from you.

Outlining clear, specific goals with your student will help you align your approach with them. Some of these goals can be:

  • Achieving better test results and assignment grades
  • Achieving a set grade for their course or semester
  • Understanding a particular topic in the curriculum

Feel free to ask your students about their weaknesses and limits to gauge where you need to work harder. Also, determine your student's learning curve to help fit your methodology accordingly.

Remember to encourage your students when they're doing well. You should make them feel comfortable and at home.

Being likeable and having a sense of humor can go a long way in getting your message across to your students.

Offer Home-Based Tutoring Through Custom Tutoring Programs

Your custom tutorial program should depend on a few things:

  • The student's level of study- a tutorial program for an AP high school student, will differ from a
  • tutorial program for an undergraduate student. The teaching style should vary accordingly.
  • Tweak the program to the student's personality and temperament. Your study methodology should be incumbent on the student's personality.
  • Fit your study program according to the circumstances, the time, the study material, and other such factors related to the curriculum.

Teaching requires you to keep a delicate balance between the student's learning style and personality with his curriculum needs and study requirements. Every student is a different person. You cannot apply a one model fits all approach in teaching. That is something only you can determine as a tutor.

Your methodology will also depend on what the study material is, how extensive it is, how much time the student has, and the proficiency level of the student.  The right tutor will know how to personalize their tutorials accordingly, keeping in mind all factors.

Tutoring Jobs For The Long Run- Retaining Your Students

How do I work with my student's strengths and weaknesses?
Juggle with the strengths and weaknesses of your students to prepare tutorials adapted to their needs.

Retaining your student throughout their whole study process is useful not just for them but for you as well.

Consistency is essential in the study process. A minor disruption can derail months of progress.

Try to organize regular home tutorials rather than many tutorials together, followed by a long hiatus. That can disrupt the whole learning process.

Regular lessons will help your students stay focused and assist in consolidating their concepts. Most students have busy routines and tend to forget what they learned if there are significant gaps in their learning routines.

The first tutorial is an ideal time to set the routine and follow through with it diligently from the beginning. Introduce progress steps and step markers to gauge the learning curve of your student.  Mix things up now and then to keep the learning process fresh.

Tutoring Jobs- Home Tuition And Freelancing

You won't be there by your students' side to guide them all your life. Your ultimate goal is to make them

Independent and capable of learning on their own. You should serve as a stepping stone and guiding light, not as a permanent crutch to your students.

A private tutor should grant their students a level of independence. You do not want to be hovering over them like a helicopter or spoon-feeding them. Make them capable in their own right.

A good tutor should make their students capable of solving problems on their own. The goal should be to allow them to think for themselves and guide them on the right path. You should not be thinking about them.

However, as the tutor, only you can decide what approach to use and the amount of time you need to make the student free thinking and independent. Some students may be quick learners and may just need a gentle nudge. Some may require you to coach them until they can think for themselves extensively.

Becoming a tutor means to become an intermediary between the student and the skills you are imparting. You should serve as a link between the student and the knowledge you wish to provide. You should not be the end goal, feeding your student the answers.

You must teach not just for the sake of teaching but to make sure your student learns on his own. Your goal should be your students' academic success and growth.

You must provide your students not just with skill but with a method and harness the ability in them to think for themselves.

In short:

  • A good tutor must act as an intermediary and not a direct party to the study process. Your goal is to make the student capable of learning on his own
  • Determine the difficulties and challenges of your students and help them overcome them
  • Stay with your students until they are fully independent and capable of learning on their own


Key Takeaway

How do I measure my student's progress?
Get to the point and measure the fruits of your labor and your student’s work!

If you're looking for a checklist to just tick off the required qualities, stop. There is no such thing as a one-fit-all tutor - every tutor needs to adapt to the course, students, and other factors. However, here's what a tutor should definitely posses:

  • Be enthusiastic about teaching and imparting knowledge to others
  • Include their students in the decision-making process
  • Be respectful to their students
  • Be likeable and approachable to the students
  • Must have a structured methodology for teaching
  • Make the students independent and capable of making their own decisions
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